BROOKFIELD, Ill., Aug. 7 -- The Chicago Zoological Society issued the following news release:
The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is asking zoo guests to "go grey" on World Elephant Day, Tuesday, August 12, to raise awareness about the plight of these magnificent creatures in their native Africa.
The Society has joined the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and more than 100 other zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as a partner in the 96 Elephants Campaign. This effort is focused on securing a U.S. moratorium on illegal ivory (the U.S. is the world's second largest ivory importer), bolstering protection of African elephants, and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. 96 Elephants, which was named for the number of elephants that lose their lives to ivory poachers each day, was launched last September in support of the Clinton Global Initiative's commitment to end the crisis facing Africa's elephants.
The Society is encouraging guests to wear something grey to show their support on World Elephant Day. In addition, Brookfield Zoo'sSouth Mall and the interior of Hamill Family Play Zoo will feature a variety of fun pachyderm-themed crafts and activities to help youngsters learn about elephants. Volunteers will be on hand with a variety of elephant artifacts, including tusks, a hide, and a replica of an elephant's tooth.
Guests of all ages can show their love and support of elephants by signing one of the elephant-shaped cards. They can find out more about the 96 Elephants Campaign and how to get involved by scanning the QR code located on the cards.
"There is an urgent need to stop the sale and trade of ivory in the United States," said Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society. "Elephants are being brutally slaughtered in Africa to satisfy consumer demand for elephant ivory, which is causing the rapid population decline of the world's largest land mammal and financing terrorist organizations."
Guests can take "elphies" in front of the zoo's life-size elephant statue, located on the east side of Pachyderm House, and then post their images on social media using the hashtag #GoGrey. Several celebrities have already posted "elphies," including Alyssa Milano and Audra McDonald.
In addition, 96 Elephants is organizing a "Thunderclap" through people can sign up on Twitter for a simultaneous Tweet on World Elephant Day. During the day, @TheWCS and @96Elephants will tweet out 96 facts about elephants. To learn more about 96 Elephants and World Elephant Day, visit: 96elephants.orgWED.
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